As a photographer, sometimes it is hard to change it up. I, for example, mainly shoot outdoors… it’s my happy place. Today’s market (especially high school seniors) want fresh, unique and off-the-chart gorgeous! If your market fits the price tag, you can obtain the clients who are willing to pay for your over-the-top creative effort!
Wild at Heart was a collaboration with my friend, and very talented photographer Noelle Wood of Looking Glass Studio. Our concept was to provide our clients with a one-of-a-kind pampering experience while on a uniquely designed set. In order to make this idea work, we had to make our set pretty versatile to span a wide range of clients (so we could get several sessions out of one set-up). You can see from our final images how diverse we were able to make this set using a few different handmade props and lots of lighting tricks.
This Wild at Heart set had a little wild and A LOT of heart behind the scenes! We became quite familiar with Hobby Lobby and JoAnn Fabrics as we cleared their shelves of all of their white feather stock, green moss and gold-leaf. We quickly discovered that the larger feathers were ideal and even still were quite hard to photograph. Note to self, small objects in a big room will get lost on camera– either downsize the space you are shooting in OR upsize the objects to fill the room. This is a trick they use in Hollywood too… I recently learned on a tour of WB Studios that when it rains on set, the drops are actually over 6″ long just to come across on film as a normal size rain drop. Needless to say, with over 800 white feathers to photograph, we had our hands full!
Here are some quick shots of our production process. I captioned each photo with the nitty-gritty details:
It took us over a month to round up and create our props and set. After production was complete, we had to start putting it all together. We originally thought that we would have the herringbone floor, the moss-covered chair with the beautiful branch and the hanging feathers as one set. But once we got it all together, we realized that there was just too much going on and our main subject (our client) would be lost! Most times, simple is better!
Once we organized our sets, we were ready to test our lighting. We used Alien Bees for our lighting. We had two AlienBees™ B800 Flash Units in each back corner, one in the front left corner, a rim light below or above our client (depending on the shot) and a soft box light in front right corner. We also used two black foam core boards as our flags and they actually worked quite well! Dialing in our lighting was time consuming… but a great learning experience. Essentially, our lighting technic was responsible for creating several different moods: dramatic, ethereal, mysterious and romantic. We both lack the “that’s good enough” gene… with our name on it, it had to be PERFECT! Needless to say, we had many hours and several hundred cups of joe into this set creation!
In the end, I am absolutely impressed with what we were able to create! To see more of our final images, check out the little Facebook page we made to showcase our collaborative projects!
We learned so much in working together! I highly encourage other Creative Solopreneurs to collaborate with each other on special projects… it’s just good for the soul!
In the meantime, go check out Noelle’s work at Looking Glass Studio. As one of the leaders of our industry, she is definitely worth paying attention to!